A county official told said he’s disappointed after Thursday’s bombshell indictment of Lawrence County Sheriff Jimmy Brown and Captain Adam Brewer.
Both face charges of official misconduct, while Brown also faces additional charges of use of inmate labor for personal gain and tampering with evidence.
Lawrence County Executive T.R. Williams said he was shocked when he learned of the allegations on Thursday, adding he worked with the sheriff closely and didn’t see any red flags.
Williams said county officials are feeling the heat.
“Obviously, it raises red flags to everyone in the county,” said Williams. “Anytime you have something like this, it affects the whole county.”
Williams said the indictments have cast a black cloud over the county, overshadowing all the hard work the department has done, like a new four-year college and drug court.
According to the joint investigation by the T.B.I. and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, investigators found number red flags within the Sheriff’s Department dating back to 2015.
Findings included questionable use of inmates for personal labor and falsified time cards.
Williams said the county’s budget director works closely with the Comptroller’s Office, monitoring for inconsistencies, but there are still loopholes.
“It’s a constant battle with Comptroller’s office to tighten those things up,” said Williams. “I can assure you Comptroller’s office will tighten up regulations for the whole state.”
District Attorney Brent Cooper is now considering filing an ouster lawsuit against Sheriff Brown, which could cause Brown to lose his job.